Each week I search for the cheapest viable options for your DFS lineups at every position. The plays are geared toward cash games unless otherwise indicated and I do try to use a price ceiling of $7000/$6000 for QB, $6000/$5000 for RB/WR, and $5500/$4500 (FD/DK) for TE insomuch as possible.
Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh Steelers at San Francisco
In theory, the loss of Ben Roethlisberger is disastrous for the Steelers, but to be honest, Big Ben wasn’t doing any of his teammates any big fantasy favors this season. In contrast, Rudolph hit JuJu Smith-Schuster for a long reception, and Vance McDonald had instant chemistry with the backup QB, scoring twice. That’s no guarantee that will happen in Week 3, of course, but Rudolph looked pretty comfortable, and I think the 49ers defense is more permeable than Tampa Bay and Cincinnati showed. They’ve been good, but not so good that I wouldn’t take a shot on Rudolph or even a Steelers mini-stack in tournaments this week.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants at Tampa Bay
It’s funny that Jones is already more expensive than Derek Carr and Joe Flacco on DraftKings; it’s been obvious that it was only a matter of time before this day was upon us. Jones had a terrific preseason, with an 85 percent completion rate, 416 passing yards, two touchdowns and the best overall pass rating (137.3) among non-starting QBs in his four preseason appearances. I view this switch as good news for Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram on the whole, and this week against a beatable Tampa Bay secondary, I’m willing to take a chance on the rookie in a tournament lineup. If you’re really into saving, go all-Jones with T.J. at wide receiver; with Sterling Shepard, Cody Latimer, and Darius Slayton possibly out, he and Bennie Fowler would be the only healthy wideouts.
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Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers vs. Pittsburgh
Mostert and Matt Breida were both great in Week 2, but Mostert was heavily involved in the pass game, with six targets. He racked up 151 total yards in Week 2, while averaging 6.4 YPC against the Bengals. The Niners are big favorites at home against a Steelers Defense that ranks ninth in fantasy points allowed to running backs (per FantasyData).
Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers at San Francisco
On the other side of the same game, James Conner is questionable with a knee injury. This bears watching, but Samuels is a former TE and Swiss Army knife kind of player who could be a big security outlet for Rudolph this weekend. He was fantasy relevant last year when Conner was out, and should see a decent workload in that case. His salary is a bit higher than I’d like but if Conner is ruled out, you should have some exposure to Samuels.
Devin Smith, Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami
Michael Gallup is ruled out for at least this week and probably more. Devin Smith looked good toward the end of the Dallas game in Week 2, catching all three of his targets for 51 yards and a score. He’s a deep threat, which should benefit Amari Cooper as well, but let’s face it, Miami isn’t stopping anyone. Dallas should be on your radar as a team to target this week, and Smith is the cheapest way to do it. The only concern I have with Cowboys this week is that they won’t need to do much to win this game and win it handily, but that concern goes away for a player as cheap as Smith.
Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Detroit
Injuries could make Agholor the highest owned player on the main slate. DeSean Jackson is ruled out and both Alshon Jeffrey and Dallas Goedert are questionable/doubtful, leaving the receiving corps in dire straits. Zach Ertz is coming off a 16-target game, while Agholor had 11 targets (eight catches for 107 yards and a touchdown). These two should be relied upon heavily as Philadelphia hosts the Lions, who rank ninth in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers through two games. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside should be in a tournament lineup or two if Jeffrey sits.
Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami
It’s going to be old man week at bargain TE. Witten is going to keep nabbing touchdowns in the red zone as his size and sure hands didn’t disappear after a year in the booth. Pretty much any TE in this price range is going to be touchdown dependent, so at least you know what you’re getting with Witten – seven catches on eight targets (four-of-four in the red zone) with two touchdowns.
Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers at Arizona
It looks more and more doubtful that Cam Newton will suit up and I for one (or a hundred) think that’s the right decision. Regardless of, or due in part to his ankle, Newton has not looked like himself and he’s made some awful throws this season. He’s occasionally been on the same page as Olsen, who ranks third among tight ends with 18 targets so far this season. Olsen’s numbers are quite similar to those of Zach Ertz, but the salary difference is vast. I think with a better arm behind the ball, Olsen could be a great return on investment this weekend, and Arizona has been a defense to target with TEs for years.